Remedies at a Glance - Fair Employment Law and Family Medical Leave Act

Equal Rights Publication ERD-11055-PWEB

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A Summary of Remedies Available under State and Federal Laws

This document is for general informational purposes only, is subject to change and is not to be considered legal advice. Individuals who wish to obtain legal advice in a particular matter should consult an attorney. Also, individuals who desire more information about the state laws may contact the Equal Rights Division of the State of Wisconsin at (608) 266-6860 in Madison or (414) 227-4384 in Milwaukee. Individuals who desire more information about the federal fair employment laws referenced should contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at (414) 297-1111. Persons seeking more information on the federal Family & Medical Leave Act may call the Wage & Hour Division of the U.S. Labor Department at (608) 264-5221.

Table Of Contents

Fair Employment

Laws

Remedies

Back Pay is available under Wisconsin's WFEL and Federal Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and EPA.

Front pay instead of reinstatement can be awarded under the WFEL in retaliation cases brought under section 111.322 (2m), Wisconsin Statutes. Whether front pay instead of reinstatement could be awarded for retaliation claims under section 111.322 (3), Wisconsin Statutes and/or for other discrimination claims under the WFEL is not yet settled by case law. Front Pay is available under Federal Title VII, ADA, and ADEA. Claims under the federal EPA (Equal Pay Act) ordinarily involve a wage differential; however, the EPA also has a retaliation prohibition and reinstatement or front pay is possible remedy for unlawful retaliation (where a discharge is involved).

Interest is available under Wisconsin's WFEL and Federal Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and EPA.

Reinstatement is available under Wisconsin's WFEL and Federal Title VII, ADA, ADEA. Claims under the federal EPA (Equal Pay Act) ordinarily involve a wage differential; however, the EPA also has a retaliation prohibition and reinstatement or front pay is possible remedy for unlawful retaliation (where a discharge is involved).

Attorney Fees and Costs are available under Wisconsin's WFEL and Federal Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and EPA.

Compensatory Damages for Emotional Harm and so on is not available under the Wisconsin WFEL or the Federal ADEA or EPA. It is available under the Federal Title VII, ADA and ADEA.

Punitive Damages are not available under the Wisconsin WFEL or the Federal ADEA or EPA. It is available under the Federal Title VII, and ADA.

Liquidated Damages are not available under the Wisconsin WFEL or the Federal Title VII, or ADA. It is available under the Federal ADEA, and EPA.

Other Remedies are available under Wisconsin's WFEL and Federal Title VII, ADA, ADEA, and EPA.

The item "Liquidated Damages" generally refers to a doubling of the compensation that the person would otherwise be entitled to under the ADEA or the EPA. Even if a person establishes a violation of the ADEA, the person is not automatically entitled to the liquidated damages (or doubling) unless a certain additional standard of proof is met. Under the EPA, even if a person has established a violation, the employer may avoid the liquidated damages if it can present the required "good-faith" defense.

The item "Other Remedies" includes such remedies as cease and desist orders, requiring an employer to provide training to supervisors and/or employees, and so on.

The items "Compensatory Damages" (for emotional harm and so on) and "Punitive Damages" under Title VII are generally subject to caps (for the combined total of the compensatory and punitive damages) based on employer size as follows:

Cap by Number of Employees

If number of Employees is 15-100 then cap is $50,000
If number of Employees is 101-200 then cap is $100,000
If number of Employees is 201-500 then cap is $200,000
If number of Employees is 501 or more then cap is $300,000

There is no cap, however, for race discrimination cases (or national origin discrimination cases if the national origin claim involves ancestry or ethnic characteristics) which may be pursued under 42 U.S.C. sec. 1981.

Protected Classes

Administrative Hearing (appeal to Labor and Industry Review Commission and then to court)

Court Hearing (federal claims may be filed in federal or state court)

Jury Trial

Class Action

Number of Employees

For details on damages under federal law, see the EEOC Website.

Special Note: Individuals with complaints against federal agencies regarding employment discrimination may contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at (414) 297-1111 regarding applicable procedures.

Family and Medical Leave Act

Wisconsin Law

The Wisconsin Family and Medical Leave Law is found at section 103.10, Wisconsin Statutes and covers employers with fifty or more employees. The law is enforced administratively through the Wisconsin Equal Rights Division. In addition to those remedies for which a "y "is shown in the chart below, a separate civil court action may be brought after the administrative proceeding (including any court appeals), has been completed to recover other damages caused by a violation of the state law.

Federal Law

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act is found at 29 U.S.C. section 2611, et seq. and covers employers with 50 or more employees. A complaint may be filed with the U.S. Department of Labor and a civil court action may also be filed. In addition to individual complaints, a class action may be filed.

Remedies

Back Pay - Available under Wisconsin and Federal Laws
Reinstatement - Available under Wisconsin and Federal Laws
Interest - Available under Wisconsin and Federal Laws
Attorney Fees and Costs - Available under Wisconsin and Federal Laws
Liquidated Damages - Not Available under Wisconsin Law but Available under Federal Law
Other Damages - Possibly in court under Wisconsin Law but Not Available under Federal Law
Other Remedies - Available under Wisconsin and Federal Laws

The item "Liquidated Damages" on the chart generally refers to a doubling of the compensation that the person would otherwise be entitled to under the U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act. If a person establishes a violation of the U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act, the employer may avoid liquidated damages (doubling) if it can present the required "good-faith" defense.

The item "Other Remedies" on the chart includes such remedies as cease and desist orders, requiring an employer to provide training to supervisors and/or employees and so on.

If you would like more information about the law and your rights, contact one of the offices shown below:

STATE OF WISCONSIN
DEPARTMENT OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
EQUAL RIGHTS DIVISION
CIVIL RIGHTS BUREAU

201 E WASHINGTON AVE
ROOM A300
PO BOX 8928
MADISON WI 53708

Telephone Number: (608) 266-6860
TTY Number: (608) 264-8752

Or

819 N 6th ST
ROOM 723
MILWAUKEE WI 53203

Telephone Number: (414) 227-4384
TTY Number: (414) 227-4081

Equal Rights Division Web Site

The Department of Workforce Development is an equal opportunity service provider. If you need assistance to access services or need material in an alternate format, please contact us.

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